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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Hosea 14

 

 

Introduction

PART II., Hosea 4-14. A series of addresses which give a summary of Hosea's prophetic teaching. The period presupposed seems to be the time of anarchy which followed the death of Jeroboam II (c. 743 B.C.). But there is no reason to suppose that the sections are arranged in chronological order. In Hosea 4-8 Israel's guilt is emphasized, in Hosea 9:1 to Hosea 11:11 the punishment, and in Hosea 11:12-12 both lines of thought are continued, the whole being rounded off with a brighter picture (Hosea 14). As, however, the oracles are essentially independent it is best to treat them separately. The text is in places very corrupt.


Verses 1-9

Hosea 14:1-9 (Heb. Hosea 14:2-9). Israel's Repentance and Yahweh's Forgiveness.—The section begins with a passionate appeal to Israel to repent and confess his sin (Hosea 14:1 f.). A promise of amendment (spoken by Israel) follows—he will no longer put his trust in foreign alliances and idols (Hosea 14:3). Yahweh now assures Israel of forgiveness; His anger is turned away, and the regenerated people shall "blossom as the lily" (Hosea 14:4-7). Ephraim repeats his renunciation of idols, and Yahweh answers graciously, the dialogue being continued (Hosea 14:8). A final exhortation, added by a later hand, urges that the book should be laid to heart (Hosea 14:9). Some scholars regard the whole chapter as a later addition intended to mitigate the severe conclusion of Hosea 13. It is argued that the ideas expressed, and the lack of emphasis on ethical requirements, are out of harmony with Hosea's thought. Moreover Hosea demands not a confession of "words" (Hosea 14:2), but an amendment of deeds (cf. Hosea 4:1 ff.). But style and language are certainly compatible with his authorship, and the other objections disappear if the section is addressed to the regenerated Israel which will have survived the nation's downfall. On this view its present position will be original (so Buttenwieser).

Hosea 14:1. thou hast fallen: if the regenerated community is addressed, the ruin of the old state lies behind them.

Hosea 14:2. words: a confession of sin rather than an animal sacrifice—and accept . . . lips: read, "and let us receive good (i.e. from thee) that we may render the fruit (LXX) of our lips" (i.e. pay our vows for the blessings received). For "fruit of the lips," cf. Isaiah 57:19.

Hosea 14:3. we will not ride upon horses: i.e. "will not enter into relations with Egypt," the supply of horses was dependent upon Egypt (cf. 1 Kings 10:28). The expression was, perhaps, traditional in this sense (cf. Isaiah 30:16). The new community will no longer rely on Assyria and Egypt.—for . . . mercy: perhaps a gloss (Marti).

Hosea 14:4. I will heal their backsliding: regarded as a disease (cf. Jeremiah 3:22).—freely: Yahweh's love of Israel is not grounded on any sufficient merit in the people.—for . . . him: ? a gloss (note change from "them" to "him").

Hosea 14:5. For figure of the refreshing dew, cf. Proverbs 19:12, Isaiah 26:19; and for blossoming "as the lily." cf. Sirach 39:14.—Render "and strike his roots (deep) as Lebanon" (or perhaps read "as the cedars," seeing that "as Lebanon" occurs at end of Hosea 14:6).

Hosea 14:6. The olive tree, which is green both summer and winter, is a figure for Israel, as in Jeremiah 11:16.—The smell of Lebanon: i.e. from its cedars (cf. Ca. Hosea 4:11).

Hosea 14:7. Read, "They shall return and dwell under my shadow, they shall live well-watered (cf. LXX) as a garden, and be famed (reading weyizzâkěrǔ) as the wine of Lebanon."

Hosea 14:8. Read, "Ephraim—what has he to do any more with idols? I respond and will give him an habitation" (God being the speaker). Some assign the last clause to Ephraim as speaker. But the whole verse may be regarded as spoken by God, who is compared to an evergreen fir-tree, which refreshes by its shadow and sustains by its fruit (read, "his fruit").—I have . . . him: render, perhaps, "I have afflicted and (reading wo'ǎashsherennǔ) will make him blessed" (so Welch).

Hosea 14:9. A post-exilic addition. The hortatory tone is like that of Proverbs; cf. Proverbs 11:5; Proverbs 15:19.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Hosea 14:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/hosea-14.html. 1919.

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